Why I'm loving KDE on my Linux workstation

24. Feb, 2017

When it came to Linux desktop environments, I was—until recently—a very die-hard Gnome user. Thanks to some issues, I tried to experiment with other DEs. I went full-on with Gnome, Gnome Classic, Deepin, Pantheon and KDE Plasma on my /fav Antergos distro. And to my surprise, I liked KDE the most.

If you have missed that as I did, KDE 5 was released (that's already some time ago..). Looks very similarly to KDE 4 except it's more flat-design-ish, faster, smoother and overall sexier.

The main pro of KDE is of course its customizability. I forced myself to give it a shot; after all we all get to know the deepest corners of our systems/DEs when we use them.

As still a newcomer to the KDE world and app ecosystem, here are my favourites so far:

Dolphin Services

Easily extend basic Dolphin's functionality via downloadable plug-ins.

  1. open Dolphin file manger
  2. Control > Configure Dolphin... > Services
  3. select which Services you want to use

Selected Services will be available under right-click in Dolphin after selecting files/folders.

My favourites:

  • Root Actions – enables you perform actions like quick changing ownership to active user etc.
  • Git – obvious service that will mark changed files in Git version control

Many more are available; just click "Download New Services..." under the list and go wild!

KRunner

Great "universal quick launcher/search". Remember "Command Palette" from Sublime Text? That's what KRunner can do. Essentially close to everything.

Just hit Alt + Space and type away.

Special Window Settings

On Gnome, I was a bit addicted to Devil's Pie—which let's you define parameters for specific windows and/or software, e.g.

When launched, Thunderbird's main window should be moved to workspace #2 and minimized.

Piece of cake; or rather devil's pie (eh). Love it. Well in KDE, it's already baked-in.

  1. right-click window's titlebar > More Actions > Special Window Settings
  2. enable which properties you want to change (e.g. Position and Size)
  3. choose when they should be applied (I go with "Apply Initially")
  4. the values are already pre-filled with whatever values are the current ones

So move your windows where you want them, open Special Window Settings and enable "applying them initially".

KDE Connect

This one is the wireless cherry on the top. Install KDE Connect on your desktop and download the KDE Connect app on your Android/iOS phone (in my case even BlackBerry with Snap will do). After trivial pairing of the two via your wi-fi network, you can experiment with:

  • using your phone as a remote control to your PC
  • sending/receiving files
  • call/text notifications on your desktop
  • ring your phone from the desktop (yep, you heard right!)

It's so far the most hassle-free way to connect your PC and phone and I really love it so far.

Honestly, I can't wait what else will KDE deliver to me next.